I recently posted a "Hello" to all those that I enjoyed reading their posts in the past. I have been absent from here and bicycling for the past four years due to the nature of the job that I had. Unfortunately or fortunately I have recently lost my driver's license for medical reasons - TIA's / small stroke. I'm thankful it was this minor. This is also a great chance for me to make a full time commitment to cycling. I'm sure my health will be better for it not to mention an improvement in general mental attitude with the ability to have transportation and not having to rely on others.
The area that I live in since returning from the Philippines this past Friday is Fallbrook, Ca. It is a hill climbers dream and a bit of a challenge for me at this stage of my fitness level. There is nothing level around here. Even getting to the California Coast line is 19 miles away and Pacific Coast Highway is every bit as hilly as this area.
So, I'm in the market for a touring bike and am considering a Surly Long Haul Trucker with 26 inch wheels verses 700c on another brand. My last bike was a Novara Randonee from REI that for all intent and purpose I was very pleased with. I kick myself, because prior to departing for the Philippines a month ago I sold some extremely nice components I had been collecting to build up another touring bike. Ironic! I'm not sure I need the 26 inch wheels, but did run into some issues with toe overlap and conflict with the bottom bottle cage and front fender on the Randonee with the 700c's. I don't know if these issues have been resolved in the latest model of the Randonee or not. If any of you have a current Randonee I would appreciate your feedback.
Fred at Beach Smaller.jpg
Additionally, I'm looking for recommendations on what I should be looking at. It is my plans to use Ortlieb Shopping bags or Backpacker Plus bags on the back at first to give me something to carry groceries, changes of clothing and my laptop.
So, I am open to suggestions! Your recommendations would be greatly appreciated!